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Re: [midatlanticretro] Re: Bill's plan for a disk boot archive distribution network

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  • B Degnan
    your standard predicable reactions.
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 1, 2007
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      your standard predicable reactions.
    • Evan Koblentz
      ... point will result in me ignoring your comments. Kelly, please don t take my prior response as a put-down. I didn t mean it that way at all. I m glad to
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 1, 2007
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        >>> I really don't care what others think of this, and preaching on this point will result in me ignoring your comments.
         
        Kelly, please don't take my prior response as a put-down.  I didn't mean it that way at all.  I'm glad to hear the details in your current reply, i.e., that you'll use ImageDisk and other pre-existing methods as much as possible. 
         
        >>>> there is currently no systematically maintained cross reference.
         
        That's where we agree the most.  But I think there is a problem in our hobby about WHY nobody has succeeded in making such a repository.  I don't know the answer, but if anyone figures it out, then I'm sure Jay West would love to hear.
         


        From: Kelly Leavitt [mailto:kelly@...]
        Sent: Monday, January 01, 2007 9:49 PM
        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Re: Bill's plan for a disk boot archive distribution network

        And I disagree with much of Herb's and Evan's responses. Sorry guys :(
         
        Here's why:
         
        I don't think Dave does not offer enough. In fact, he offers quite a bit. I just have much more than he has online, and that others may be interested in. For instance, someone found out I have a disk needed for formatting the old 8" hard disks by Tandy. Using Dave's ImageDisk, I made a copy and shipped it out to him. It worked.
         
        I would gladly ship the 1500 to 1800 8" disks I have here to Dave, but I don't think he'd be interested in imaging and classifying them. Instead, I have been working on (for the last 3 months) a searchable archive of all the disks in my inventory using ImageDisk to make the images wherever possible. I am still classifying disks and formats, but I can successfully read 80 to 90 percent of what I have right now using ImageDisk. My only contribution is to catalog the data, and I fully intend to use imagedisk wherever I can. I also intend to offer commercial software packages ala www.trs-80.com (that is, only for software that is not currently commercially available), up to the point of receiving C&D orders. I really don't care what others think of this, and preaching on this point will result in me ignoring your comments. This is an active decision I have made as an individual. However, I cannot ask the same of others. But in all honesty, who would actually be damaged if I allowed a copy of Scripsit to be downloaded and installed on a Tandy Xenix machine?
         
        The intent is to offer all the images I make directly to Dave for linking to or copying from his site at his discretion, and to make it freely available to all. Any that I can directly attribute to being CP/M will be offered to Gaby and the CP/M archive. I intend to share and spread the word.
         
        I only suggest a catweasel for the instances where Dave's program won't work. ImageDisk will only work on disks that use fairly standard FM and MFM formats as defined by the WD chipsets. It cannot handle Apple II, Amiga, TRS-80 PDD format, early Macs, and others. I am working on a program to read these disks using a catweasel and then write them in ImageDisk format if possible. It is generic enough that I believe I can follow his format even if the resulting images can't be written using his MS-DOS version.
         
        You've also seemed to have missed an important point that Bill made. That is, it would be nice to have a CENTRAL repository of who has what disks available and systems for copying them. Regardless of fees and such, there is currently no systematically maintained cross reference. What happens if something happens to Dave? Who will support his site and efforts, or will it go the way of Don Maslin's collection?
         
        I have tried starting this discussion several times on CCTALK, but there are no takers. Instead they'd rather discuss bongo drum bandwidth.
         
        I have researched up and down the web, and I'm apparently the only one to offer many of the disk images I offer. I just need to finish the interface and get more ImageDisk images entered into the archive. Here's a partial list of what I've been able to copy:
         
        These are all for the model II, 12, 16, 6000 series:
        TRSDOS II 4.1 v1
        LS-DOS
        Xenix 3.1.1 (5 disks)
        Xenix 3.0 Development system (13 disks)
        P&T CP/M
        Scripsit
        Scripsit Speller
        ProFile 16+
         
        Model 2000:
        MS Assembler
        MS Fortran
        Multiplan
        MS-DOS
         
         
      • Kelly Leavitt
        To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Re: Bill s plan for a disk boot archive distribution network ... This was in reference to
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 2, 2007
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          To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [midatlanticretro] Re: Bill's plan for a disk boot archive distribution network


          >>> I really don't care what others think of this, and preaching on this point will result in me ignoring your comments.

          >>>> Kelly, please don't take my prior response as a put-down. I didn't mean it that way at all. I'm glad to hear the details in your current reply, i.e., that you'll use ImageDisk and other pre-existing methods as much as possible.

          This was in reference to my stance on commercial software, not what you said. I do otherwise care.
        • Herb Johnson
          ... our hobby. In general, I think our hobby is too incestuous and fragmented. ....The result is multiple attempts at every little thing, each attempt with a
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 2, 2007
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            --- "Kelly Leavitt" <kelly@...> wrote:
            >
            > And I disagree with much of Herb's and Evan's responses. Sorry guys :(

            ---- "B Degnan" b...@...

            > your standard predicable reactions. [that's a complete quote.]

            Evan Koblentz posted:

            >Rant: I also think Herb's comment extends to many other aspects of
            our hobby. In general, I think our hobby is too incestuous and
            fragmented. ....The result is multiple attempts at every little
            thing, each attempt with a bunch of redundant users and/or a bunch of
            unique, loyal users, often not knowing about the other attempts. I
            think our hobby needs more regional user groups like MARCH, more
            openness to newcomers and youth, and less in-fighting over whose site
            or forum gets to be the meta-portal.

            -----------------------------------

            To Kelly:

            Actually, speaking for myself, I don't see very much disagreement from
            Kelly about what I said. I said "use Dave's program" - Kelly says he
            can use it on 80%-90% of his disks. I said "support Dave's archive" -
            Kelly says he'd be glad to do so in principle, making his
            Dunfield-compatible disk images available to all. I appreciate Kelly's
            extensive response, and what he plans to do: it's consistent in large
            part with what I was commenting about. I'm glad to offer some responses.

            Dave's archive is simply to provide boot disks, that is system disks.
            Kelly apparently has a larger plan, to provide a general archive of
            whatever is on his 1500-disk collection - boot disks, utilities,
            commercial software. And he plans to do that on his own, for free
            apparently. Hey, what he does is his business. Others have established
            similar on-line archives of software, or manual images. (I take no
            position on the legal issues involved - I am no lawyer.) Kelly may end
            up creating the largest single archive; my general observation is that
            there are MANY archives of smaller collections which overlap, but
            there's room for more (but not more formats IMHO).

            Much of what I posted was about the propostion that someone can offer
            this as a service for some kind of FEE, and to postal mail actual
            disks. This is what Bill apparently proposes. Again, my response is
            that people like Kelly will offer their stuff for free download,
            immediately - and that you can't compete with that. Only people who
            are unable to use such download services to make their own disks will
            pay for someone to do it for them. Or, people who have specific
            hardware which can't be supported on ordinary PC's hardware, as Kelly
            describes. I know these issues first-hand, in the manuals and floppy
            business, as I wrote. There may be a service component to this that
            can be worked. When "free" won't do the job, you gotta pay or wait for
            work to be done. Good luck to anyone who does that, including myself,
            including Bill for that matter.

            Kelly asks specifically, "What happens if something happens to Dave?"
            Dave has already answered that: his program is on the archive site,
            the archive site is ALREADY on the cccomp Web server and not Dave's
            servers. In a way, *Kelly* is offering to enhance the archive, just as
            others have when they send Dave a disk image. As long as Dunfield's
            archive with his imaging programs exists and is mirrored, it will
            exist. (Don Maslin's service was physical disks, in the days before
            the "free" Web, and it died with him.) There are other archives on
            the Web from people or organizations no longer active, surviving by
            being mirrored. Hey, *I* was approached recently and asked if I wanted
            *MY* Web site mirrored. For free of course.

            The Web, and free access, has DEcentralized these kinds of activities,
            other than specialized, specific services such as I mentioned above. A
            Web search will find any archive anywhere; blame Google.

            If Kelly wants to do what he intends to do, for free, then more power
            to him. I've forgotten that Kelly does high-class work via his
            trs80 site; I'm not a Tandy guy. How Kelly sustains that kind and
            amount of activity is up to him. If he has a business model, I hope it
            works - I'd love to find such a model myself, in a world where people
            work for free, give stuff for free, get access to it for free,
            immediately.

            Kelly says he tried to discuss this in another discussion group. I"ve
            discussed this myself, years ago, in comp.os.cpm. Search for it
            if you want, it was about archives of manuals, manuals for payment vs.
            PDF's for free. I was told that the economic challenges I mentioned
            were, and I quote, "collateral damage" from the consequence of
            then-new scanning and Web technology, of the "free" activities I
            mention above. When people can get stuff for free, they don't wanna
            talk about economics. I could not revive the discussion after that,
            it's old news.

            Similar trends are occuring in other domains where there is old
            content on old media. There is a mad rush by (excuse me) non-producers
            of content, to take old content on old media and to put it "freely" on
            the Web. Even the Library of Congress is doing it - old movies, old
            images. Amazon and Google copy whole books - just for 'searching" of
            course, the economics are that they get your eyeballs, for ads. Snore
            snore, old news, zzzzz....It's like talking water to fish, today.

            To Bill:

            Regarding Bill's brief response: I'm sorry that Bill did not see fit
            to respond in any detail. Maybe he will later. If all he sees is a
            repudiation of his proposal, I'm sorry for that, it's hard to respond
            to something of that sort. But I can't read his mind, I can't guess at
            what "pedictable reactions" he may have beyond disappointment.

            Believe me, I hesitated and dithered about posting anything at all. I
            don't want to rain on anyone's parade, I have no desire to be Chairman
            of the MARCH Spoiler Committee. So I presented my dilemma as best I
            could. But it's a real dilemma, and I hope Bill takes time to consider
            that dilemma.

            to Evan:

            Regarding fragmentation, there is no central portal because the Web
            has no center. And it's all on the Web - for most people, anyway. That
            may be "fragmented" as Evan said and Kelly suggested, but Google will
            aggregate it for you. As for fragmented plans and activities, anybody
            with time and some resources can compete on the Web with anyone else
            on a fairly equal footing. Evan, you want "openness", that's it! At
            least that's how it used to be...this is changing in the usual ways,
            as big money and spammers both clog the Web; but that's another
            discussion.

            On the other hand, MARCH and other old computer collectors and
            organizations who have a PHYSICAL presence, PHYSICAL assets, and
            people, can aggregate their PHYSICAL stuff and resources to advantage,
            as you suggest. But when physical assets, like disks or (in my
            business) manuals can be turned into on-line content, you can't
            compete with the drive to "free on the Web". That's the challenge, or
            as I put it, "where's the business model that competes with free?"

            And I agree with Evan that a bit of homework goes a long way to avoid
            duplicated work. I don't care for duplicated work; much of the content
            on my Web site is about the work of others. Hey, I support those who
            are gettin' it done! Nothing wrong with new ideas and proposals; but
            in the end it's work and persistance and resources that produce
            results which stick around. However....on the Web there are a lot of
            dead Web sites, dormant efforts. Some get revived...again, another
            discussion, but it adds to apparent fragmentation.

            Contrary to Evan, I see nothing wrong with a MARCH discussion of all
            this, consider the sequence. Someone posted about wanting a boot disk.
            That struck a chord as various people offered far larger proposals
            which may, or may not, involve MARCH as an organization to aggregate
            such disks or requests for them. Herb and Kelly say "hey, it's been
            done (more or less)". Where else does MARCH do business, to decide
            what to do? - Evan himself directed *ME* here. And Kelly said he
            could not raise the discussion elsewhere.

            How about that: MARCH serves a purpose! Good work, Evan! ;)

            Herb Johnson

            Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
            <a href="http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
            <a href="http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
            my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
            if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
            "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
            S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
          • B Degnan
            Herb(All), All I was saying is that there any many people who just want some boot disk or another and do not have the time or resources to make their own from
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 2, 2007
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              Herb(All),

              All I was saying is that there any many people who just want some boot
              disk or another and do not have the time or resources to make their own
              from an internet download. I just thought it would be nice to offer such
              a service through MARCH to those who need a little help and/or are less
              technical. Not everyone can make a cable for an 8" disk drive to a modern
              PC, and the donation idea was just an afterthought.

              To be organized by having a list of the boot disks that MARCH'ers have
              offered to make is just a way to reduce support questions.

              .Nothing more.

              The responses to my post were predictable.

              Bill
            • Herb Johnson
              ... such ... modern ... I don t know what to make of predictable ; but I can respond to your idea above. Part of what you are suggesting can be read as,
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 3, 2007
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                --- "B Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
                >
                > Herb(All),
                >
                > All I was saying is that there any many people who just want some boot
                > disk or another and do not have the time or resources to make their own
                > from an internet download. I just thought it would be nice to offer
                such
                > a service through MARCH to those who need a little help and/or are less
                > technical. Not everyone can make a cable for an 8" disk drive to a
                modern
                > PC, and the donation idea was just an afterthought.
                >
                > To be organized by having a list of the boot disks that MARCH'ers have
                > offered to make is just a way to reduce support questions.
                >
                > .Nothing more.
                >
                > The responses to my post were predictable.
                >
                > Bill

                I don't know what to make of "predictable"; but I can respond to your
                idea above. Part of what you are suggesting can be read as, "let's
                just share what MARCH members can do with their own systems".

                Here's one idea. MARCH can help gather members and others to offer to
                make system disks on their own equipment. MARCH can create a Web page
                list of systems and owners (but no email addresses) and forward email
                requests accordingly to those owners. That isolation protects
                everyone's privacy and avoids spammers who gather email addresses. The
                list can be on MARCH's Web site, and MARCH members can encourage other
                archive sites to point to that list, so Web searches will find it.

                As I pointed out, it's often the case that individual system owners
                respond to requests for boot disks. I see that all the time in
                comp.os.cpm. I forward requests for help from my own Web site, in the
                way I've described above, from my site's descriptions of other
                people's work on S-100 systems or disk formats, etc.

                Evan talked about "regional" support and about bringing in "new"
                computer collectors. This is a simple way to get involved, with MARCH
                doing the Web work and aggregating interests and inquiries among
                system owners old and new.

                Any additional services, such as suggested by Bill, can emerge later
                from the gathered base of system owners. If someone wants to do a
                "universal" kind of boot disk service, more power to them, put them on
                the list.

                This does not address Kelly's archive of general software, but he
                plans to offer that on his own terms; and that's not a hardware issue
                like system disks are. (Kelly said so, that a PC can copy 90% of what
                he has.) The original request which started this thread was for boot
                disks. Kelly has some system disks himself, he can be on that proposed
                list too if he wishes.

                Jim suggested some new software or hardware may be needed; I don't see
                that myself, the responses so far suggest old or current software and
                hardware, or sometimes some specialized tools already in existance and
                mentioned, will do the work. I'm familiar enough with that stuff to
                agree. What about the future, Jim asks? Hard to predict the future,
                I'm still working on the *past*. ;) But my preference is to build on
                available efforts, not start new ones. Others like to do "new" stuff;
                again, their preference.

                Herb Johnson

                Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
                <a href="http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/"> web site</a>
                <a href="http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/"> domain mirror</a>
                my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
                if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
                "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
                S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
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